Brief description of some editing devices

Here’s a brief cross-post about editing devices from the Complete Works of Edith Wharton editors’ site.

Volume Editors have many methods of comparing texts, some of which are text based (relying on typed text) and some of which are image based (relying on photographs or physical volumes). If you have other resources, please feel free to add them here. See also the works in the bibliography for the Editorial Guidelines and the brief guide to editions, printings, and states here: https://www.abaa.org/blog/post/first-state-notes

Different methods, text-based or image-based, will work better depending on what  you’re comparing.

  1. EDITIONS, which will usually be set from different plates and have different typefaces and page numbers (e.g., Scribner’s first edition, Macmillan [British] first edition, and so on), can’t be compared with image-based technology because of the the differences in typefaces and pagination.  What’s on page 31 of the Scribner’s first edition of The House of Mirth will not be similar enough to what’s on page 31 of the Macmillan edition to make a comparison of individual words and letters possible, for the words will not be on the same lines. EDITIONS will need to be typed so that the text can be compared using Juxta or another text-based method.

2. PRINTINGS, which will be printed from the same plate as the first edition with the same typeface and page numbers, will differ little in appearance. The same material will be found on p. 3 of the Scribner’s edition, first printing and the Scribner’s edition, 5th printing, and the words will appear on the same line. PRINTINGS can be compared using image-based comparison methods like the Hinman or other image-based technologies. 

The image on the left is from page 31 of the first Scribner’s edition of The House of Mirth; the second image is from page 31 of the Macmillan (British) first edition.

Text-based comparisons

Text-based comparisons let you look at the differences between two typed documents. Most of us are already used to doing this in Word, but Juxta Commons is useful for more complex comparisons.

Text-based methods are useful when you are comparing different EDITIONS of a book.

Juxta Commons. http://juxtacommons.org/  This easy-to-use and free software can compare two screens of text at once and can identify the differences by highlighting them. Juxta looks like this: juxta

To get typed text to compare, you might try these:

    1. Typing the volume into a text editor (like Notepad or Text Wrangler) or into Word.
    2. Using a typed version or the raw OCR (Optical Character Recognition) version found online that you proofread carefully against the copy-text volume (usually the first American edition). When raw OCR text comes out of the scanner, you’ll see that it is kind of a mess. There are odd characters, like ! instead of 1, m instead of rr, and even worse. You can see a little of this if you try to convert a .pdf document back into text using Google Docs.  Whenever scanned text is used, it has to be carefully proofread.You may see references to “cleaning” the raw OCR text. “Cleaning” is just a term from data processing; it means to correct the data (in this case the text) according to the scanned material so that it makes sense.
      1. Adobe Acrobat Pro can turn .pdf files into  text, but the text it creates must be carefully proofread.
      2. Google Docs is supposed to be able to turn .pdf files into text, but the text it creates must be carefully proofread.
    3. Scanning the copy-text volume with a specialty software such as ABBYY Finereader https://www.abbyy.com/en-us/finereader/ This text must also be carefully proofread but is supposed to have fewer errors than other scanning to OCR (Optical Character Recognition) kinds of programs.

Image-based comparisons

If you have taken pictures of several printings of the volume you’ll be editing, image-based or digital comparison software will be helpful.

  1. Traherne Digital Collator, a free comparison and collation software. The Traherne Digital Collator compares two page images so that you can see differences between, say, the first and second printing of a volume.

The download links can be found here: https://oxfordtraherne.org/traherne-digital-collator/ and http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~vgg/software/traherne/. These methods work for different printings or states of the same edition but not for different editions that have different fonts.

In the screenshots below, the top image compares the first edition of The House of Mirth, from a copy in the Lilly Library, with a copy of the first edition in the Beinecke Library. Note the broken character on the running title (HOUSE), which is illuminated by a red color instead of purple in the second image.

traherne1

traherne2

2. Pocket Hinman. The Pocket Hinman is a free experimental app developed for James Ascher and DeVan Ard. It’s available for iPhone and Android through the App store and here: https://rossharding.me/#/pockethinman/

The Pocket Hinman allows you to compare visually a volume that you’re looking at with a previous picture of a volume. Differences will stand out by flickering slightly.

Mechanical Comparators and Collators

If you live near a research library or are visiting one, you can use these older devices to compare physical volumes of the text: the two major kinds are the Hinman Collator and the Lindstrand Comparator.

Hinman Collator. Developed by Charlton Hinman from WWII bomb target technologies that compared two images and found slight differences by flickering images and used in creating comparative versions of the First Folio, the Hinman Collator can find small differences that indicate changes from one printing to the next.

Here’s article from the Folger Library that describes the Hinman in more detail:

https://collation.folger.edu/2018/05/hinman-redux/

Here’s a demonstration of the Hinman Collator in action, with text by James P. Ascher, who developed the Pocket Hinman:

The following article from 2002 that gives all the then-locations of Hinman Collators, Lindstrand Comparators, and other mechanical editing devices. Each of the major Edith Wharton archives has a Hinman or Lindstrand machine available.

“Armadillos of Invention”: A Census of Mechanical Collators

Author(s): Steven Escar Smith Source: Studies in Bibliography, Vol. 55 (2002), pp. 133-170 Published by: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia

Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40372237 

CWEWh Welcomes Emily Orlando, Editor of Volume 6: Writings on Architecture, Design, and Gardens


orlandoCWEWh Welcomes Emily Orlando, Editor of Volume 6: Writings on Architecture, Design, and Gardens. Emily Orlando earned her B.A. in English and French at Saint Anselm College and her Ph.D. in English at the University of Maryland (2002).   She is the author of Edith Wharton and the Visual Arts (Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2008), as well as articles that have appeared in the following peer-reviewed journals and books: American Literary Realism (1870-1910); New Voices on the Harlem Renaissance: Essays on Race, Gender, and Literary Discourse; Memorial Boxes and Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture; Women’s Studies: An Inter-disciplinary Journal; Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country: A Reassessment; and Edith Wharton in Context. In Spring 2015 her article “Irreverent Intimacy: Nella Larsen’s Revisions of Edith Wharton” will appear in Twentieth-Century Literature. Orlando’s essay titled “Edith Wharton and the New Narcissism” is forthcoming from Women’s Studies: An Inter-disciplinary Journal.   She served as co-director of “Edith Wharton in Florence,” the international conference of the Edith Wharton Society (Florence, Italy 6-8 June 2012).  Orlando currently serves as President of the Edith Wharton Society (EWS) and Book Review Editor for The Edith Wharton Review.  With Immediate Past President of the EWS Meredith Goldsmith, Orlando is co-editing a book drawn from the Florence conference titled Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (currently under review).  From Fall 2013 through Fall 2014 she served as Co-Director for the Program in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. As part of the January 2014 celebration of Edith Wharton’s birthday, she gave a talk at The Mount (Wharton’s Lenox, Massachusetts home) titled “Fifty Shades of Lily: Wharton, Art, and Popular Culture.”

Works in Progress: The Charles Scribner’s Sons Archive at Princeton

2018-07-27 08.59.05 sterlingFor the first half of her career, Edith Wharton published her books through the Charles Scribner’s Sons publishing house in New York. The archives are at Princeton University in the Charles Scribner’s Sons collection. Below is a brief research note shared among the volume editors, part of an ongoing series describing our work in progress on CWEWh.

From August 2018: Carol Singley and I were working on Wharton’s papers in the the Charles Scribner’s Sons Archive at Princeton University Library  https://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0101/c001953,

and we thought a brief note about the “letter books” might be helpful. Please ignore this if it’s already common knowledge.

Before file folders and file cabinets were invented, it was common to take an image of an outgoing letter in a letterpress (while the ink was damp) and, for letters received, to paste them into a book, like a scrapbook. These books were then indexed with short descriptions so that the contents were known and could be looked up.

The first folder of Box 193 of the Charles Scribner’s Sons Archive has several pages of a letter book index. The entries look like this:

WCB #9 7/6/1904  p. 385 to EW

“Mentions “the Letter” which appears in the Macmillan edition and not in Scribners, and comments at length on her apparent “absent-mindedness.”

“WCB” indicates that the letter is from William Crary Brownell, her editor, to EW (Edith Wharton). The 7/6/1904 uses the American convention of month, day, and year to indicate July 6, 1904. The “#9” indicates that it was at one time in Book 9, on p. 385, and the description shows the content of the letter.

Why look at these when you can read the letters themselves?

The Letter Book index gives a good sense of the trajectory of the letters over a period of time, even when the letters themselves may not be extant. For example, the index refers to replies by Brownell, Charles Scribner, or Edward Burlingame to some letters of EW that don’t appear in the folders.

I can’t show a photograph because of the restrictions on the collection, but that’s what the index to the Letter Books looks like and what it means.

CWEWh Welcomes Paul Ohler, Editor for Vol. 2: Short Stories I: 1891-1903

 

Credit: Kwantlen University

CWEWh welcomes Paul Ohler as the Volume Editor for Vol. 2: Short Stories I: 1891-1903. Paul Ohler earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of British Columbia. His publications include Edith Wharton’s ‘Evolutionary Conception:’ Darwinian Allegory in Her Major Novels (Routledge, 2006), as well as articles in English Studies in CanadaEdith Wharton Review, and America’s Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Literary Culture (U of Georgia Press, 2014). He is co-associate editor with Sharon Kim of the Edith Wharton Review and serves as Vice-President of the Edith Wharton Society. He teaches 19th and 20thcentury American literature at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  

CWEWh Welcomes Katherine Joslin, Volume Editor for The Fruit of the Tree

Joslin-Katherine--English_150_0

Courtesy of Western Michigan University

CWEWh welcomes Katherine Joslin as the Volume Editor for volume 11, The Fruit of the Tree. Katherine Joslin is a professor in the Department of English at Western Michigan University. Her books include Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion in the Becoming Modern Series (University Press of New England, 2009);  Jane Addams, A Writer’s Life (Illinois, 2004; paperback 2009), a literary biography that places the social settlement founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in the company of American writers; and Edith Wharton in the Women Writers Series (Macmillan and St. Martin’s, 1991; paperback 1994), a part of the resurgence in Wharton studies (Joslin is a founding member of the Edith Wharton Society). She co-edited Wretched Exotic: Essays on Wharton in Europe (Peter Lang 1993; paperback 1996), a selection of essays from a conference she directed in Paris; and American Feminism (Routledge, 2003), a four-volume collection of source documents from 1848 to 1920.

Interview with Virginia Ricard, translator of newly discovered Edith Wharton lecture “France and its Allies at War”

p3_WhartonOn February 14, 2018, the Times Literary Supplement published a newly discovered lecture by Edith Wharton, “France and Its Allies at War: The Witnesses Speak,” translated by Virginia Ricard (University of Bordeaux).   Professor Ricard is co-editor of volume 29, Translations and Adaptations, of the Complete Works of Edith Wharton, a 30-volume series under contract at Oxford University Press.

The entire lecture is online at https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/america-at-war-wharton/ (Image courtesy of this site.)

Here is the introduction:

On February 8, 1918, in a series called “France and Its Allies at War: The Witnesses Speak”, Edith Wharton gave a lecture in French to an audience of about 400. Why had the United States entered the war with such enthusiasm? How could Americans, who were only interested in money-making, be ready to fight? The lecture, which appears here for the first time in English and in edited form, was an attempt to answer these questions. It reveals Wharton’s interest in the early American settlers’ lasting contribution to democracy, and displays her wide – and generally unsuspected – knowledge of American history.

Virginia Ricard

 

  1. How did you happen to discover this piece?

In France we have an extraordinary tool, Gallica, a digital library created by the Bibliothèque nationale. Like the Internet Archive, it constantly expands the amount of material it makes available and improves accessibility. Over the years, I have downloaded anything and everything concerning Wharton or by Wharton that I found on Gallica. “L’Amérique en guerre” was published in the Revue hébdomadaire on 2 March 1918, and the review was uploaded by Gallica in December 2013. I read the lecture, among other things, soon afterwards. But it was in Washington, in July 2016, as I listened to Alan Price’s paper that I realized just how interesting it was. So the credit really goes to Alan. When I began looking at the translation work required for the Complete Works of Edith Wharton, I realized that “L’Amérique en guerre” had never been published in English and so I set to work on it. As I did so, I thought 2018 seemed the right moment to publish it—just a hundred years after Wharton gave her lecture and a little over a hundred years after the United States entered the war—still an important event in Europe although I think all but forgotten in the United-States.

  1. What can you tell us about this lecture? Do we know how it was received by those who heard it?

“L’Amérique en guerre” was part of a series organized in 1918 by the Société des conferences, that is, a lecture society that worked closely with the Revue hébdomadaire in which the lectures were regularly published. This particular lecture was one of ten called Paroles de témoinsThe Witnesses Speak. The nine other speakers were politicians, members of the Church, and writers, all closely involved in the conflict for various reasons. I think is is pretty clear why the organisers asked Wharton to take part. She had influenced American opinion, which the French saw as an essential factor in the American decision to enter the war, and she had contributed to the war effort in France. So she was, in that sense, “a witness.”

Here again, Alan Price provided important information about who heard the lecture, much of which comes from a letter Wharton wrote to Alice Garrett in March 1918. Sharon Kim, whom I also met in Washington, was kind enough to send me photographs of the letter. I am fairly certain that the lecture took place at the Société de géographie, on the boulevard Saint Germain where the Société des conferences held most of their lectures. The hall can still be visited. We know that there were about 400 people present, including Paul Bourget, the American Ambassador (invited by Wharton), Walter Berry, the Tylers, Ronald Simmons, Raymond Recouly, and a few académiciens including René Doumic, who was the director of the Société des conférences as well as the editor of the Revue des deux mondes. But there were certainly many others present on whom the lecture left a lasting impression. Three years later, also in the Revue hebdomadaire, Marc Logé (the pen name of Marie-Cécile Logé), a fairly well-known translator and woman of letters, began an article on “Les Fondateurs de la littérature américaine” (“The Founders of American Literature”) with a long quote from Wharton’s lecture. That’s just one example.

  1. In several of her letters, Wharton, or her secretary, replies to requests for lectures by saying something like “Mrs. Wharton never gives public lectures.” What is special about this lecture, and why did she give it?

As I see it, Wharton was very, very concerned by the future of Europe and also very glad when the Americans entered the war. We have to remember that in February 1918, the war was far from over, and Wharton was probably ready to do anything she could to contribute to the the victory of the Allies. But you are right: in her letter to Alice Garrett, she says, “I would have given my boots (quite an expensive gift nowadays) to be in the hall instead of on the platform, & see myself, (never having uttered one word in public in any tongue!) sitting houghtily [sic] on a lofty ‘estrade’.”

  1. What can you say about Wharton’s writing style in French? Are her word choices unusual in any way? Does her style in French resemble her style in English, or does she make different choices—which, of course, might be because this was meant to be delivered as a speech rather than in writing? Does her language suggest that she’s attempting to reach out to the audience by incorporating references to common cultural events?

To be perfectly honest, the lecture, is in some ways an odd document. And from that point of view, I think the TLS did a superb editing job—for their purposes in any case—by simply cutting some of the longueurs—some of which will nevertheless interest Wharton scholars I think. The way Wharton goes about her task, talking first about language, then about history and only at the very end discussing the question of the war, is at first a little surprising. Some of her formulations also strike me as a little odd and I don’t think a native French speaker would have expressed himself in exactly the same way.

But I found her approach very astute. She obviously had a clear understanding of what we now call communications and she sets out to address the preconceptions of the French audience she had before her. They had all seen Abel Hermant’s play, Les Transatlantiques, which makes fun of rich but ignorant Americans. Just to give you an idea of how well known the play was at the time, Sandor Ferenczi, in a letter to Freud, wrote that Hermant’s play was “the best parody of the Americans.” (The allusion to Les Transatlantiques is not included in the edited version of the lecture.) Wharton suggests that things were not quite so simple and that in the beginning the New World was not merely a money-making enterprise. Once she has punctured French prejudices, she provides her own interpretation of American history: religious fanaticism alongside the enjoyment of life’s pleasures, centrifugal forces opposed to centripetal forces. She is never dogmatic or manichean: the fanatic Puritans provided mankind with one of the great democratic institutions, the town-meeting, and she makes the Dutch, whom she otherwise lauds, reponsible for introducing slavery.

  1. Was there anything that surprised you about this lecture? Any sentiments that you hadn’t heard her express before in, say, French Ways and Their Meaning or other war writings? 

Well, yes. Here Wharton is very clearly looking at America from the point of view of France, something she does in her fiction but not quite as explicitly. She finds many positive things to say about it. She seems to me to be more knowledgeable about American history than I would have thought and she clearly has a worldview, has thought about the meaning of the New World and the different forces at work in history and her own place in that history. I was surprised at how clearly she comes out on the side of free public education, religious freedom, freedom of the press, Wilson’s Society of Nations, what she calls “centripetal forces” and more generally the “boundless ambitions” of the young—read new ideas. In A Backward Glance, Wharton expresses a taste for sophisticated pleasure-loving societies. Here she confirms that taste but also seems to have more democratic ideas than she is often given credit for. And I like her intellectual honesty, a quality she praises in French Ways, in defending the idea of the Society of Nations, for example, (even though I believe she was not exactly a great friend of Wilson’s) before the war was even over. I also like her willingness to face up to her audience, some of whom were skeptical about the ability of a country like the United States to fight at all. All in all I was surprised at how modern Wharton was.